Saturday, December 13, 2008

Communication FAIL

I received this note from my management company on Tuesday. It was slipped under my door.

This is to inform you that on December 11, 2008, we will be performing a spot check inspection for the presence of crawling insects in your unit. Our maintenance personnel will be accompanying an employee from Waltham Services. You don't need to be home while this work is being performed. Thank you.

Um....where to begin. My first thought was, "CRAWLING INSECTS???? WHERE???? AHHHHHHH" but then I realized that I hadn't seen any. Then I started thinking about the specificity of "crawling" insects, as in not flying, meandering, loitering, or tap-dancing. Just crawling.

When I came home after this inspection took place, I realized that "crawling insects" was actually a euphemism for bed bugs, since the "personnel" stripped the sheets off my bed (and didn't remake the bed, thank you very much). There was nothing to indicate whether the presence of crawling insects was or was not detected in my apartment.

The note slipped under my door reminded me of an e-mail I received when I was working at an upper east side museum. It was sent to all staff, from the maintenance/facilities manager. It said:

As many of you have noticed a fowl smell in the building. This is due to a crack pipe and we are working on it now. The smell is not toxic waste, just ground water from the garden. Smell should dissipate very shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience.

There are so many remarkable things about this e-mail, which is why I saved a copy of it (it was sent on March 30, 2006). The image of a chicken smoking crack, for one. But also, the reassuring statement that the smell is not "toxic waste." Most puzzling to me is the correct usage/spelling of "dissipate" in an e-mail that starts with both a sentence fragment and a homonym error (foul/fowl). Curious.

But lest you think I'm a snob, let me assure you that I make communication blunders all the time. Just this week, I had an embarrassing text message gaffe. In my phone, there are two Josh Gs: one is a new friend and fellow blogger and the other is recording artist Josh Groban.

Why do I have his number? Well, in the summer of 1997, we both attended Interlochen Arts Camp and became friends. We also briefly dated, but then I broke up with him (to date someone else). My mother still laments this decision and is holding out hope that someday Josh and I will reconnect. Clearly, we had a strong bond at age 16:

(sidenote: why am I making that face? And why did no one tell me that baggy flannels were not the best way to showcase my figure?)

We are still sort of in touch, technically-- and he very generously has given me tickets to some of his shows. Let me tell you, it's odd to stand in a sea of squealing tweens and their moms and see someone you know on stage at Madison Square Garden.

Anyway, the communication faux pas happened on Thursday, when I meant to text the other Josh G. about meeting up at a bar, and accidentally texted Josh Groban. He sent me a very confused reply, which I received the following morning at 5:36 a.m. At first, I was like, why is Josh Groban up that early? Then I realized he's probably touring in Asia or something and got my text at an ungodly hour. It's probably karmically fair that I am doomed to make an ass of myself with Josh for the rest of eternity.

Sorry, Mom.


J.A.G. said...

Dude, I looked so much better than the other Josh G. at whatever age that is. Clearly I will get just as far as he.

Jenny said...

You know JOSH GROBAN? My old roommate's mom wanted her to marry him funny!!