November 9th, 2007


My day was surreal...

So, I'm sitting at my desk working on a DEC submittal, tra-la-la, and this woman walks in. This by itself if fairly unusual. We do very little 'street' business (being a fully booked engineering/construction consulting company. You don't usually window-shop for engineering services...), and those folks who do wander in are generally rough-looking construction guys. Or lost. I look at this woman and guess 'lost.'

I just had no idea how lost.

Me: Can I help you?

She: I used to work in this office. My partner and I were designers.

Me: Oh, who was your partner?

She: I can't tell you that. I have to protect myself. (points to the plans lying on the desk in front of me) That was one of my projects. I designed it.

Me: (Still wondering what exactly she wants...) Oh, you worked for Summit, then. (I had done the polish work on these plans, but anyone could have started them...)

She: Oh, no. I'm a *designer.* I'm also an artist. And a photographer. And I did all the designing of all the villages around here. That's my work. But don't worry, when I left, I destroyed everything. All I left was garbage, no one else can use it.

Me: (Very puzzled) These are the plans for a new subdivision in the city of North Pole.

She: (Very firmly) No they aren't. They're astrology charts. I made them, and they were stolen. Look at this shape, that's not a lot, that won't work for a subdivision, those are all star systems. But it won't work for you. I left only garbage when I went, so no one else could use it.

Me: O.... kay.

She: (Pointing at a large abstract painting on the wall...) I painted that. Me and my partner.

Me: Um, no ma'am, I painted that.

She: No you didn't. My partners and I painted that. Our names are hidden in it. I'm not going to show it to you.

Me: (Nodding slowly, wondering if I was going to need to call the cops.) O.... kay.

She went on to tell me that she'd been protecting me - that while her picture was hanging at the University, she would be protecting all women, even native women, but that since they'd taken her photo down and replaced it with some Japanese man, she wouldn't be able to anymore. And every so often she would ask seriously, 'you know what I mean?' and I would make polite, if slightly strangled noises and wonder if it was time to reach for the phone.

Fortunately, my boss came back through the back door about then (I'd been alone in the office!), and I was able to say, 'And this is Mark, did you need to speak with him?'

She did not, and after telling me that she would speak with me later, and be looking out for me, left.

Mark laughed and laughed at the story, and I asked if he had any more astrology for me to do.