Friday, January 20, 2012

Chronicles of a Brain Trust (Part 2)

The Brain Trust was always a cause for entertainment (more here).  Whether she was dressing inappropriately, crying at her desk, or making grand pronouncements about how smart the women in her family were (no kidding!), she never failed to get attention.  Take for instance the time she got caught for skipping out on Metro without paying.  Really.

Apparently days (or weeks, who knows?) prior, Brain Trust had lost her SmarTriip card, but did that stop her from riding?  Not a chance.  She would sidle up behind someone and walk quickly through the fare gate without paying.  It's a dirty little trick, but it happens.  One day, after sneaking through the gate, she was nabbed by a transit cop.  And according to her, this is how the conversation went:
Cop:  Can I see your SmarTrip card?

Brain Trust:  I lost it.

Cop:  It's illegal to go through the turnstile without paying.  I'm going to need to see some identification.

BT:  I don't have any.

Cop:  Then I'm going to have to arrest you.

BT:  Well, I might have a student ID. 
Cop:  I need something that shows who you are.
BT:  Well, I might have my Social Security card. 

I'm going to have to to interject here and say, a) who on earth carries her Social Security card in their wallet and b) who doesn't carry any identification with them on a regular basis?  Oh, right, Brain Trust.
Cop:  I need identification.
At this point, BT was digging through her purse under the cop's watchful eye.  In her bag she had a pill bottle full of niacin (she had recently watched a documentary about vitamins and swore that niacin was going to save her life--and that we should all take it too, because it would probably save ours).  The cop asked her what was in the bottle, because, as she put it, "apparently niacin looks like drugs. What-ever."  It was around this point that she started to get an attitude with the cop.  She told him he had no right to ask for her ID.  I'm not sure what Law & Order episode she learned that from, but I'm pretty sure he did have the right (then again, I'm no attorney).

Finally she produced either her Social Security card or student ID, I forget which, and the cop issued her a citation.  But the story doesn't end here, dear reader.  So indignant was she that she refused to pay the ticket.  She waited and waited and waited, regaling nearly everyone in our office with the story of the cop, the turnstile, and the niacin.  And then, with a giggle, she would say, "So if I don't pay the fine, they're going to swear out a warrant for my arrest."  On the last day she had to pay it, she asked my coworker about where the nearest police station was to go pay it.  He told her and she said, "That's too far.  I don't have time," and then heaved the put-upon sigh of a huffy 13-year-old. Guess what?  She didn't pay the ticket in time.  A point she enjoyed sharing with us all, repeatedly, including in meetings with outside clients.  I think she eventually did pay the ticket, but somewhere she's got a police record.  You know, because she's awesome.

The real kicker, though, and the event that sealed her fate, was a meeting two weeks prior to our annual conference.  We were preparing for an all-staff meeting that included our meeting planning contractors.  As we were assembling in the conference room before the meeting, a roach skittered across the floor.  Anyone else would've hit it with a shoe (girlish squeal, optional), but not Brain Trust.  Her response was much more . . . drastic.  She shrieked a shriek rivaled by the best horror movie vixens in Hollywood.  She yelled deep from her soul, as if she had been thrown from a plane.  She screamed is if she were being assaulted in a dark alley.  And then she ran, like Flo-Jo, out of the conference room and down the hall, leaving the rest of the staff open-mouthed and staring after her.  (In case you were wondering, I think someone did eventually hit the roach with a shoe.)

Not two days later, the staff, sans BT, was summoned to the conference room again to be informed that Brain Trust had been relieved of her duties and sent packing.  And thus the entertainment ended.  I was almost sad to see her go. Almost.  But then I remembered all of her antics and realized that despite my desire for more opportunities to roll my eyes, working with such a loose cannon wasn't really something that was desireable.  Still, every time I see a roach, I think of her.


  1. Oh boy, let's see. A) I am, sadly, an individual who carried her social security card in her purse, along with those of her two children. This was stupid because my purse and the three ssn cards were stolen out of my car. We will probably reappear somewhere in the Caymans. UGH. Bad, bad idea. and B) I shouldn't comment without going back to the start of the story but ..... she'd never last a day down here in the South with our Palmetto Bug "issue". Wow.

  2. Well to play the devil's advocate here, maybe the roach was a gangsta' roach that had a gun and that is why she ran. No? Just a thought. I have a feeling the higher-ups guessed she'd be some good comedic fodder and THAT is why they decided to employ her. Just a thought.

  3. I'm going to miss Brain Trust in the same way I miss my old roommate. Constant source of entertainment.