Mr. Fussy

Eating alone at restaurants sucks. I eat lunch by myself frequently and I always feel out of place doing it. It’s like I’m a social outcast that everyone glares at while laughing when they spot me sitting at a table in solitary uneasiness. Sometimes I bring along a book for company but the whole time there sitting and waiting for my food I end up sneaking peeks over the brim of my book to see if anyone is staring at me regardless. Most of the time I forget to bring a book with me. I have no problem dragging a fellow swing shift employee along for lunch off-site even if I don’t really know the person all that well. My only criteria for lunch company is that it isn’t a coworker I despise. I despise a fair amount of them, however there are plenty to choose from for grubbin’ out with that I don’t already hate.

Lately my pals at work haven’t been able to go out for lunch due to projects they’re behind schedule on. Too busy. Or I’m hungry when they aren’t. So it hasn’t worked out. Instead I’ve been picking from the second string batch of coworkers. Mr. Fussy is in that group. I know who he is and I have seen him in various departments and hallways of the factory for nearly eight years. Until recently I have never worked together with him.

I remember Halloween, 1993 well. I smoked cigarettes back then. Building 1 Upper had a designated smoking area that was an open air balcony with awesome views of nearby rolling hills. That Halloween afternoon at work I walked to the balcony for a quick nicotine fix. Stubbing out the smoldering filter, I pushed the building’s double doors open stepping back inside to see a crowd of costume-clad employees clogging up the hallway. They were approaching rapidly and something in that crowd seemed very wrong.

My eyesight was starting to go bad on me back then. The wolf pack of employees were a slightly blurry mess. It took me a few seconds and then I caught it. A jet black frilly minidress with white apron moved closer towards me on legs captured in fishnet and feet trapped in shiny black stilletto heels. This was somehow out of place. Vision became less fuzzy as the costume mob approached. French Maid’s feet were bony and sharp, too much so for a woman. And the leg muscles were out of place as well. They seemed to bulge from under those black fishnets in all the wrong places. I stopped where I was and stood still, watching. When everything was close enough for me to see clearly I looked at the French Maid’s face to discover a neatly trimmed moustache on her upper lip. Ugh. My eyes burned. That was the first time I saw Mr. Fussy at work. He was an ugly French Maid.

Over the years since then I heard two consistent rumors about Mr. Fussy. One, that he had contracted AIDS, and two, that he had snooped around in a manager’s cubicle. While snooping he found documents relating to our division’s business plan to outsource all the printed circuit board work to a Chinese company. Mr. Fussy apparently leaked that information to the entire department causing a huge brawl between employees and management. Bill and Dave’s mid-level managers seemed to have been caught in a lie that they couldn’t easily explaint their way out of. And if that rumor about Mr. Fussy was true, somehow he managed to avoid being fired for his transgression. I had wondered about that for a long time.

Tonight Mr. Fussy and I went over to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I decided to be a nosey bastard and ask him some questions about those old, lingering rumors.


~ by factorypeasant on December 19, 2005.

3 Responses to “Mr. Fussy”

  1. I think Germ Freak and Mr. Fussy should have been assigned to work next to each other, would have made for great entertainment.

  2. Eating alone is great. You can get whatever you want and you don’t have to pretend to be interested in your dinner partner.

  3. Barley-

    you know, i think they did work in assembly together for a short while but i don’t remember them clashing or flipping out on each other. Germ Freak stayed by himself as much as he possibly could. Mr. Fussy tweaked on people at random but the one employee he had some episodes with was a little Korean rapmaster kid…

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