June 17, 2005

Rated PG

It was Tina who started it all. If it wasn't for her, this wouldn't have happened in the first place. But perhaps what they say is true that, "Necessity is the mother of inventions." And it was necessary to brand this loathesome person as such if we want to discuss her underdealings without fear of retribution. I know it's shallow but boredom does strange things to people.

This person in mind is what people would call "PG" or "patay-gutom." She is our office secretary (let's call her Pat), an ugly, middle-aged malcontent who has taken root in our department since time immemorial. When God gave out smiles during creation, obviously she missed out during the distribution. She always sport that patent frown where her bucktooth is already protruding from her lips. Imagine her drooling. And Tina added that her new haircut was a terrible throwback to the Tina Turner of the 80s that she quipped that she must have been mistaken for a transvestite one time or another. Even her sly voice grates in our ears. I loathe her. We all do.

Perhaps this animosity for someone who should be our ally is unfounded. But from experience, she has proven to be a veritable caricature: a villain you would hate the most.

Why do we hate her? Let me count the ways...
1. Eating our share in the food canister every lunchtime.
All residents and interns have a food ration that's placed inside this 3-story Indian-style , detachable steel container for every lunch and dinner. And the ration is quite meager, like one chicken drumstick for one person. And other personnel like Pat is never included in the head count, hence, she doesn't have the right to swim in our food. The residents tolerate her because she was already secretary before their tenure, and with that, they turn a blind eye. And with that, she eats with impunity.

Well, if the food's a little late, she's the one to remind us that her intestinal anacondas are hankering for some chow. She's the first to shout at nobody in particular that she's hungry already insinuating that we have to fetch the canister. Sometimes, she would blatantly ask us to get the lunch food by saying, "Huy, kunin niyo na ang lunch. Alas-dose na." And when the food arrives, she's the first to dig in without inviting anyone to partake with her. And sometimes, the interns are left with only a piece or two of the viand. Ah, the injustice of it. Sigh.

2. Diverting the buffet food for her brood.
Frequently, medreps would treat the doctors in a certain department to a catered buffet in the hope of presenting a new product or reiterate the efficacy of their drug. And most of the time, the food is more than enough. So, sometimes if there are any leftovers, we would save it for dinnertime. But one some occasions, the food (after the presentation) is swept clean by some uknown force and we would attribute this to hungry late-comers.

But one time, a co-intern's observation has shed light on why the leftovers have left the coop. The reason? Pat took them all and placed them in large cellophane bags- the ones carinderias use to sell viands. And it's for a fact that those didn't end up in our office thereafter. Where they ended up is still a mystery to us all.

3. Being the most inept secretary.
We have three printers in our office that gets broken every month or so. At first, we used a photocopier-printer hybrid to print our census each morning. Two weeks after, the printer bogged down. Pat complained that it was because our endless usage, which we partially admit it is, since it's part of the job description. She forbade us to use it without even trying to find out what's wrong with it. She didn't call in the repairman to have it checked. My co-intern soon found out what the problem is: a pin in the printer feed has been gagging up the paper flow. My friend fixed it quickly and the next morning, Pat was happily surprised that the machine is now working.

Now, we are relegated to use the dot-matrix for our census. It takes an hour to print them all and due to continuous usage, the ribbon has been exhausted. And Pat who is already aware of this problem (since we pointed it out to her a week ago) hasn't lifted her fat ass to either exchange the ribbon or at least, rewind it. As of now, the ribbon has tears in the middle due to extensive printing on the same segment and if it were not for the stacked carbon papers, our census could be like the "Emperor's New Clothes" wherein there are just printer indentations without the ink. Sometimes, I'd like to slam the machine into her mouth in the hope of restoring her face or better yet, insert her face into the printer just to make a point about the ink.

Wait, gotta make the census pa.

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