Otherwise known as: BARB’S LAST DAY, UGHTM.
I actually dreaded coming into work yesterday, and not just because it was Monday. I know it might seem melodramatic, all the tribute posts last week and me being a general crybaby about change, but the shock of Barb’s resignation has really impacted a lot of us here. I can honestly say that if not for Barb, I’m not sure I would have lasted this long at The Law Firm. I had always been pretty firmly against working downtown and when I was called in for an interview here five years ago, I almost didn’t go.
Seriously. I literally ran back into the house and flung myself on the bed, in full-fledged pout mode. But Henry was like, “YOU NEED TO GET A JOB BECAUSE WE ARE POOR. GO TO THIS FUCKING INTERVIEW OR YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT WARPED TOUR THIS SUMMER!” Ugh, I was so mad about it! And then I set off an alarm trying to get into the department and everyone was staring at me—it was NOT a good start.
But then some lady came around the corner and was all, “Oh are you here for the interview?” (probably what was said, I would imagine; I’m taking liberties here) and then she took me into conference room 10B (which doesn’t even exist anymore) and introduced herself as BARB AND THAT IS THE FIRST TIME I MET BARB YOU GUYS.
So, Barb and Sue interviewed me together that day and it was the first time in years that I actually felt comfortable in an interview, which I mentioned to Barb many months later and she said, “That’s funny because I remember thinking you seemed so nervous!” That’s just my normal demeanor though. I think she knows that now.
Hilariously, I remember being asked what I was doing during the day since I was currently out of work, and I told them I was an “artist.” LOLforever.
Working with Barb was awesome from day one. It didn’t even feel like I was coming to work! And every Monday, I always felt excited to come in and tell her about all the stupid things that happened over the weekend. And holy shit, we would laugh until our faces hurt over the stupidest things.
We were separated in 2012, when I joined a different part of the department (The Dark Side) and was moved to another part of the floor (basically The Saddest Hallway Ever). It was awful. Barb would always try and drop hints to management about how I should be moved back, but we knew deep down that having us split up was a dream for the bosses — we were constantly being reprimanded for talking too much, being too loud, having too much fun, being human. For the next two years, I was so sad and felt like I was rotting away in that glorified office I was stashed in.
Last June, I moved back over to the Good Side of the department, but I was still in another quadrant. And then, halfway through Barb’s Last Day, it was announced that a bunch of us are being moved around–I’M GOING BACK TO MY OLD DESK! ON BARB’S SIDE OF THE FLOOR!
And now she won’t be there. :(
What kind of dumb luck is that?!
She was in Wendy’s office yesterday right before it was time for me to leave, so I opened the door and said, “I just wanted to say—-” and then my words got all truncated, like “goodbye” was the new “Beetlejuice.” I had to turn around and walk away because I started crying. Then I came back and tried again, and this time I had to stand and face a corner in order to get the stupid words to come out. Then in the span of .05 seconds, I accidentally shut off the lights and poked myself in the eye (an injury which is still plaguing me today, as I type this while wearing only one contact).
*Barb leaving. But, also my eye injury. Awful.
Earlier in the day, I presented Barb with her going-away present. I worked on it all weekend and laughed and cried through the whole thing. It’s a painted collection of various Law Firm memories and jokes and she pretty much acted like it was the goddamn Mona Lisa because, duh: it was from ME!
“And I have the only one! No one else has this!” she cried, and I thanked god that Glenn wasn’t within earshot, because I’m sure his kneejerk retort would have been, “And no one else WANTS one.” Although, he did surprise me that morning when I arrived at work with the painting wrapped up protectively in a garbage bag, because I had gone through a mental Rolodex of possible wise cracks he would potential monotone, like, “Pretty convenient that they make actual bags for your ‘art'” or “Oh great, bringing more garbage to work.” But he didn’t! Instead he was like, “That is nice.”
Most of these are explained in last week’s quasi-eulogies for Barb. I think I touched upon Last Mail in this post from last year, but this is the biggie, the one that the whole department gets. Last Mail is a beautiful enigma and I love her. Barb used to be her #1 on our floor, but then Barb made the fatal mistake of canceling lunch plans with her in 2013, and Last Mail iced her out. And you know who stepped in as New #1? THIS GIRL. I told Jeannie and Barb once recently that I imagine Last Mail talks about me at her family dinners, and refers to me as “That little angel.”
Here’s her employee ID photo (this is also how I make my Glenns, and they don’t get much bigger, sorry!):
The guy on the left is this secretary that sends in a lot of audits, which Barb then would have to scan and email back to him, and through this, they cultivated some bizarre fake-friendship, so I had to include him:
The other guy is (not) clearly Bill Paxton, whose face is frustratingly stupid to paint and I was so angry all weekend. Fuck you, Bill Paxton. I might be joining Barb’s team on this one.
And then other odds and ends to show Barb that not only do I retain the things she tells me, I WILL ALWAYS FIND WAYS TO THROW IT BACK IN HER FACE.
Today, her name was still on the pane of glass in front of her desk, so I decided that I was just going to pretend like she’s on vacation. But by the afternoon, someone came down and scraped off her name. I CAN’T STAND IT.