Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

The End of an Era June 28, 2011

I started this blog a little over a year ago, because a super weird UPS delivery guy came into my office, instead of the normal hot delivery guy, and made me realize that maybe a desk job didn’t mean nothing interesting would ever happen to me again.

After that revelation I started posting follow ups on my interactions with the hot UPS delivery guy on my Facebook page, and quickly found myself building a story arc in which I played the character of a slightly delusional woman who believed she was in a relationship with the UPS guy.

It was creative entertainment for me and made UPS deliveries a highlight of my day (and when    there are no windows and limited human interaction in your day, this is legitimate.    Don’t judge me. )

I never made anything up, instead I chose to interpret elements of our interactions in a way that advanced the story.

Like:
UPS boyfriend was just here. He asked about my vacation, which I’m assuming means he came in while I was gone and asked where I was. Then he told me he still has 2 weeks of vacation to use before the end of the year. Am I the only one who hears that as an invitation?

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My UPS boyfriend just commented on my red turtleneck. He asked if it was my Christmas turtleneck. I heard “I wish I could spend Christmas with you”…

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Just learned my UPS boyfriend plays the drums. It’s nice how we keep learning more about each other…

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My UPS boyfriend was just here. He said “You stay in here today. You really don’t want to go out there- way too cold.” I love how he’s always got my best interests at heart 🙂

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My UPS boyfriend was just here and told me he’s going to enter the building’s raffle for a black Mercedes. I think it’s because he knows how good I’ll look in the passenger seat.

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My UPS boyfriend was just here. I haven’t seen him for at least a week. While I was signing the pad thingy, he was looking out the door and seemed to be a million miles away. I wanted to tell him that I know reunions can be awkward after an unplanned separation. But then our eyes met as I returned the pad, and I think he got it…
The story took a little twist when I realized he had a wife. But I ran with it:

UPS boyfriend’s eyes were particularly blue today. They were very distracting, but no so distracting that I didn’t hear him mention his wife.  BUT, he was complaining about how she planned a weekend at VA Beach, & he spends his whole day driving, so on a long wknd just wants to stay in & watch DVDs. Clearly his wife doesn’t understand him…. I think I’ve still got a chance…

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My UPS boyfriend delivered (more) boxes of Godiva chocolate which led to a conversation about our favorite candy. Right after I told him I wouldn’t say no to Godiva, he started blathering on about the kind of candy his wife likes. I know he has a wife, just not why he needs to spend our special time talking about her. I thought we had an agreement….good thing he brought a fresh box of chocolates…

But the best part was how much reaction these updates would spark among my Facebook friends.

Like: 

Just walked out into the hall and saw my UPS guy talking and laughing with a girl from another office!
Seaton
that slut!
Jeffrey
WHAT?!? How DARE he?
Mattie
Maybe that’s his cousin. Yeah, his cousin. That’s it! …..

Amy NO!
Tiffany
Girlfriend, he doesn’t deserve you!

Meredith Well i can’t compete with her anyway. Literally – all she’d need to do is sit on me, and I’d be dust 😉
Katie That bastard!

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UPS boyfriend just came in for the first time this year. He said “thought y’all had moved you were gone for so long!” By which I’m pretty sure he meant “I really missed seeing your bright smile during the long dark holidays.”
Joanne, Susan and 2 others like this.
Howard Of course that’s what he meant!
 Susan (co-worker) he missed me too, you know.

 MeredithI forgot to mention that I asked him about that and he said “there are other women in this office? I never noticed.” Sorry.

I’d often run into Facebook friends in real life (it does happen. Seriously.) who had never commented on my “UPS Boyfriend” statuses, but would tell me how much they looked forward to and enjoyed my updates. One friend referred to it as a “living soap opera”. I was thrilled to know that in providing myself entertainment at work, I was simultaneously providing it to other people as well.

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Then I started dating Chris. I posted my first “UPS Boyfriend” update about a month into our relationship, and I immediately had people asking me what I was thinking, if Chris would get mad or feel disrespected, and if I was trying to sabotage what was already looking like the most functional relationship I was ever going to get.

My initial instinct was that he would “get it”, and be fine with it. But my friend’s concerns did give me a moment’s pause. But before I could really think it through he posted an adorably cute and appropriately jealous-but-in-not-in-a-creepy-way comment.

Essentially he jumped into my story and made himself a character.

I know. I’m totally keeping him.

My UPS boyfriend was just here with a package for Susan. But for the first time ever volunteered to bring it back to her office instead of leaving it with me… i might have accidentally told him the wrong office…

SusanAgain, thank you. Thank you, thank you. From the heart of my bottom.
MeredithI’m a giver. It’s just how I am
Dan
LOL!
Chris
I am pretty sure I saw that guy outside kissing 10 other women. My instincts tell me he is no good and you should dump him. 🙂

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My UPS boyfriend was just here with 2 good-sized, but light looking boxes. He asked if he should bring them back into the office for me. I said “are they heavy?” he said “I don’t how strong you are”. I said “I’m pretty strong.” He looked at me for a second then said “Why don’t I just take them where they go?” Um, whatever!

Michael You should have told him you’d challenge him to a boxing match!

 Katie is real boyfriend jealous of UPS boyfriend yet?
MeredithWe have an understanding 🙂
 Tara It sounds like he just wanted an excuse to spend more time with you. But, you know, since he’s a boy, he couldn’t just say that.

 Chris I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the memo about our understanding of the UPS guy. Besides, I’m sure I could wear those brown shorts better than him any day. 🙂

 Meredith ‎@Chris – i could have sworn I sent that memo…did you check spam?but I agree you’d wear the shorts better 🙂 And probably let me carry the boxes 🙂

But then something strange started to happen. The UPS guy would come and I’d sign for a package and forget to initiate a conversation so I’d have something to put on Facebook. Or we’d have a classic interaction, full of opportunity for me to read into it and advance the story line, and I’d forget to put it on Facebook.

What was happening?

I tried to rally, to keep the story alive, but aside from my wandering attention, many of my friends – ardent “UPS Boyfriend Fans” –  stopped commenting on the posts I did manage to get up. It seemed they were losing interest in the story as well.

Then a friend told me that even though I said Chris was fine with the whole thing, and even though Chris said he was fine with the whole thing, she was still uncomfortable encouraging me to refer to another “boyfriend” publicly.

It turned out that lots of my Facebook friends were worried I was undermining my relationship by persisting with the UPS Boyfriend gag, and they didn’t want to be a part of that.

Wimps.

But it was clear it was time for this story to wrap up. I started winding it down, while trying to keep some element of tension.

Today, my UPS boyfriend was in the hallway and my boss walked by. He called my boss over and had him sign for the packages in the hallway so he didn’t have to come in. Yesterday, I was away from my desk and he went straight back to Susan‘s desk and dropped the box off, almost like he wanted to see her… I’m not sure I like this trend…
Patrick
Maybe he knows you’ve moved on:)

Chris
Did I forget to mention that I had a little talk with him? Lets just say that we came to an understanding

My UPS boyfriend just brought me flowers! By which I mean, he came in with a box from 1800 Flowers, and handed it to me. It was for someone else in my office, but I can read between the lines. He was saying “I wish these flowers were from me to you, to say I’m sorry for my behavior last week.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what he was thinking.
Chris
I think I’m going to deliver a special box of whoop ass to this UPS guy for the constant flirting with you! I’ve had just enough of his shenanigans. 🙂
Beth
@ Chris, it’s best not to encourage these delusions of Meredith’s 🙂
Allison
I’d kinda like to see the dazed look on the poor guys face when Chris shows up-but he needs to wear a Federal express uniform to really freak the guy out (while Mer sneaks out the back door LOL)

What I really wanted was some sort of great and final dramatic climax, which in truth it needed anyway – pining for an object of ones affection is only compelling for a limited amount of time, and then something has to HAPPEN. So I started looking for opportunities to misread something he did or be overly dramatic about some element of an interaction. But then suddenly he wasn’t our delivery guy for several weeks, and then he was back, he’d just run in, shove the pad at me, refuse to make eye contact, and leave as fast as possible – giving me nothing to work with.

I started to nurture a very real fear that he had somehow found out about my Facebook posts and was now scared of me, referring to me as “that stalker chic at that company with the weird name” to his UPS buddies at their UPS hangout place.

And then, a few days after my birthday, my UPS Boyfriend brought a delivery AND my ending:

UPS guy was just here. Was staring at the flowers and birthday balloon on my desk while I signed the pad, to the point where he didn’t notice I was done and handing it back for a second. But he didn’t comment. I think he realizes its over…

I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to have some great dramatic scene to end the story with, but I’m not sure I, nor any of my Facebook friends, had the energy for it at this point anyway.

So the UPS Boyfriend story has officially come to an end. But it was a great experiment in creativity, storytelling and social media, which was super fun, and I’ve got my eye out for a new subject for my next “Facebook Soap”.

Except I don’t think I’ll do another romance.  From now on I’ll look to my real object of affection for that storyline.

A murder mystery might be fun…

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From KGB to UPS? March 31, 2010

Filed under: Work — Meredith @ 4:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I work as a receptionist – I’m sorry “Administrative Coordinator” (the fact that the boss felt the need to dress up my title for me is its own brand of crazy, but that’s another post for another time.) When I took this job it was part-time and temporary and I was seeking normalcy and dullness.  After almost 5 years as a non-profit consultant I was full up on crazy, and I wanted structure and quiet and someone else telling me how to organize my day.  And I got it.  And it took almost five months before I started to feel the urge to be an active participant in my life again instead of just a passive observer.  At that point I was offered a full-time staff position. I hesitated for a moment, suddenly feeling stifled and oppressed at the idea of committing to stay in the quiet, dull, Designed-by-Staples environment that had moments before been my savior and safe space. My biggest concern was that if I spent all day, 5 days a week with the same small group of people I’d miss out on all of the random, spontaneous interactions with the myriads of weird people who exist out in the world.

When I was consulting I spent much of my time at coffee shops, networking events, meeting with prospects, and just generally being out in the world. And I almost never had a day where I didn’t have at least one crazy interaction or observation. It was fodder for my other blog, it was fodder for fiction writing, it was fodder for conversations at the next networking event or client meeting. And if I was in an office all day I’d lose all of that, wouldn’t I?

Now, I’m aware of two things:
1. Crazy can exist in offices. I worked at two of the craziest places in DC before going out on my own, so I know. But that’s bad crazy. That’s emotionally enmeshed with your co-workers, crying in the bathroom, reading-employment-law- at-night-so-I-know-my-rights, kind of crazy and that is NOT the kind of crazy I was looking for, but was the only kind of workplace crazy I knew. 
2. after hiding out in this office for 5 months, I didn’t have a lot of other options to pay the bills, and while I was much recovered from my burnout, I wasn’t 100% up to par yet.  

So I took the job. And almost immediately realized that there’s still plenty of good crazy to be found, I just have to start noticing it again. To wit:

Part of my job is to receive UPS deliveries. Today we had a substitute delivery guy. Our normal delivery guy is tall and built and has beautiful blue eyes and a smile that makes you think of summer.  Today’s delivery guy was small and round and had a Russian accent and I immediately name him Boris.  As I’m signing my name he says “So Lady, let me ask you question” (remember to read his parts with a Russian accent). I was a little put off at being called “Lady”, but decided that, like most things, it sounded less offensive with an accent. So I said “sure.” He said “You ship Fed-Ex sometimes, no?” I said “No, we only use UPS.” And he says “Ahhhh” with a sly smile and I feel like I’ve entered into some kind of negotiation. Then Boris says “But sometimes, sometimes you use the Fed-Ex, yes? Maybe just a little?” And I smiled and said “Um, no. We only use UPS,” and then for some reason I hear myself say “We sometimes get Fed-Ex deliveries, but we can’t control that.” Boris nods and smiles slyly again, and takes the electronic pad back from me without making eye contact and then says “Ok, so you only once in a while use the Fed-ex, heh?” And I don’t want to be snippy with Boris, but really, did he think I wasn’t understanding the question? So I say, more firmly this time “No. No Fed-Ex. Only UPS. Why do you ask?” And he says “Ah, the bosses, they want the drivers asking. Asking for the competition, so they can fight!” And he pantomimes boxing for a moment. I say “Ahh.” Then Boris says “OK Lady, only UPS. OK. What’s your last name?” (because everyone except Blue Eyes asks that after I sign). I tell him, and he says “Ahh.” Looks at me for a second then says “Say name again?” I repeat my name and he laughs and says “Ok, lady, just checking.” And then he hustles out the door.

It took me a second to appreciate that I’d just been face to face with some good crazy. I almost skipped right past it as I went to deliver the packages to their recipients. And when I realized I started to laugh and it felt good, and I realized that in my old life, I saw crazy everywhere because I looked for it and celebrated it, not because of where I was spending my time. I had this urge to find Boris and hug him, but that’s borderline bad crazy, so I didn’t. Instead, I sat down and created a blog dedicated to cataloging and sharing and celebrating the variations and striations and oddities that make life interesting. At least to me.

 

 
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