I don’t do much besides work. That’s why I keep talking about it day after day. I should clear up one thing, though—I don’t hate my job. In fact, it’s ideal for me, except for one thing.
Mr. Boose is a fly in a sweet pot of jam. That’s what makes him so awful, all that blackcurrant goodness, then crunch. It’s a fly. I get all tight and nervous when he’s on my team. My e-mail chirps and my chest hurts: is that Mr. Boose? It’s hard to explain why he bugs me so much. He’s not especially harsh. He’s not brusque or rude. It’s just, I don’t know. He’s shy, for one thing, and hard to approach. Then, his notes are just strange. He doesn’t pick on the usual things, like grammar or style. He goes for weird little details, for weird little reasons I can never quite parse.
I can’t post his actual notes. That would be crass. But something like this—this would be peak Boose:
“The moss on the walls blunted the sounds from the street.” —Moss damages brick walls.
What do I do with that? Do I dispense with the moss? Do I alter the text to acknowledge the wear on the walls? Or is Boose sharing knowledge for its own sake? I tend to go for small changes, like “The moss on the crumbling walls blunted the sounds from the street.”
“Spruce trees lined the walkway, grey with drought.”
—Spruce trees are not considered ornamental. (Aren’t they?)
“Spruce trees lined the walkway, grey and dowdy.”
“He reached for his salad fork.”
—Salad forks have four tines.
“He frowned at his salad fork. ‘Why do these have four tines, and the big ones have three?’“
“She’d smudged her mascara.”
—Mascara contains irritants that increase the likelihood of sneezing during application.
“She’d smudged her mascara. Maybe she’d sneezed before it had dried.”
Why, Mr. Boose? What are you saying? Do you do this to everyone, or only to me?
There’s another thing too, which is Boose does his notes like Amazon reviews. He’ll exaggerate for effect, or compare a whole section to something notoriously bad (“This is like in ‘Fifty Shades,’ with her inner goddess.”) What does that mean? Am I being cheesy? Repetitive? Have I said something crude? Boose’s notes are like riddles, and I’m…I don’t know. Turandot? Whoever sucks at riddles, that’s who I am.
I’ve tried asking for guidance, but that’s ended in tears—well, in a note from Mr. Boose about how needy I am, intended for our boss but addressed to me.
Mr. Boose is a source of workplace stress, and I’m sure that goes both ways. He gets up my nose and I get up his. I wish he’d just sod off and Boose somewhere else.
Next time I update, I’ll make it Boose-free.