August 06, 2004

I Love The Smell Of Crazy In The Morning

I maintain there are more interesting people (and by interesting I mean downright strange) working in government than in the entirety of the private sector. You’ve heard me talk about Crazy Client? Allow me to introduce you to Post Traumatic Client with a Twitch (PTCwaT) who I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday morning.

I arrived on the scene with my partner on the project – we’ll call him Twan in order to protect the names of the innocent – and were immediately introduced to PTCwaT. Now, in order for you to really know what I’m talking about appearance-wise, I’d like you to think back to 90’s television, specifically Dharma & Greg. Remember Dharma’s crazy burned out hippie father? They have to have been separated at birth. He was bald on top, yet had the remaining side hair grown to his shoulders. He also had a remarkably vacant stare. He was either hard of hearing or he was actually receiving the conversation on a five minute delay.

Ok. You’ve got the picture.

Now, after our introductions he immediately turned back to Twan.

PTCwaT: You say your name was Twan?
Twan: Yes.
PTCwaT: Like the Twan-Ho Delta? In ‘Nam?
Twan: Um, I’m not sure. My family left Vietnam when I was a year old.
PTCwaT: Ahhh, ‘Nam. I was in ‘Nam in ’68.
Twan: Oh…really?
PTCwaT: You ever been back to ‘Nam?
Twan: No. I really don’t have the urge.
PTCwaT: I want to go back to ‘Nam. I should give you some books on ‘Nam. There was this one reporter who wrote some good ones. Until he got gunned down…in ‘Nam.

Now, I’d like you to reread that conversation. It might sound normal until you take into consideration these facts. Every time he said “Nam” he sounds a little on the angry side and raised his voice. And he developed a twitch. Unless he was speaking about Vietnam, he was a pretty slow talker, like there was something wrong upstairs. Everything combined? It was really pretty scary.

The rest of the meeting went rather well except for a few minor interruptions from PTCwaT, including:

“I had a contract with your company back in ’73. After ‘Nam!”
“We have people knocking on doors, conducting household surveys on a regular basis as part of the project. They’ve seen so strange stuff over the years. But nothing like I saw in ‘Nam!”
“Your company has people over in Iraq right? Its just a little war. They’ll be fine. Plus it could be fun. Like ‘Nam!”
“Doesn’t matter where you go, there’s good and bad. There was a lot of good stuff back in ’68 when I was in ‘Nam!”

My comment to Twan as we were leaving the meeting? “Dude’s going to be on top of some building picking off pedestrians with a sniper rifle within five years, mark my words.” But hey, it wasn’t a boring meeting.

Posted by Chris at August 6, 2004 07:33 AM

Was his name Jimbo and did he have a friend named Ned?

Posted by: LOUP at August 6, 2004 08:40 AM

I knew a guy like that back in 'Nam.

Posted by: Sheryl at August 6, 2004 08:43 AM

You meet some of the weirdest people. And we government workers aren't all crazy. {twitch} Most of us are really normal. {twitch} Did you say you've got roof access in your building? {twitch}

Posted by: Lisa at August 6, 2004 09:03 AM

You're kidding, right? I thought those type of characters who said crazy shit like that were only in movies and on TV. Who says that kind of stuff?!?

Obviously burned-out-Dharma's-dad-types who work for the government!

Posted by: Kristi at August 6, 2004 09:30 AM

I cannot lie. Every time I read "PTCwaT" I twist it to "PCTwat" and I giggle inappropriately.

Just like in 'Nam.

Posted by: amalah at August 6, 2004 10:38 AM

Heehee. Man, I don't meet anyone like that where I work. But we're all too young. Too young to understand 'Nam. We weren't there, maaaan. We just don't knoooow.

Posted by: Dawnie at August 6, 2004 10:42 AM

I guess that would make for a very interesting meeting. I second amalah's comment about the anagram for this guy. PCTwaT might be more appropriate.

Posted by: Mike at August 6, 2004 10:58 AM

government workers? Oh it is the joy of my life to talk to those who work for the government. I especially love to hang up on them when they're being asshats.
that guy was FUNNY. How did you keep from laughing?

Posted by: samantha at August 6, 2004 11:01 AM

There are more interesting people working in government! I've been there, and I agree. I think the main reason is that you just can't fire any of them. You can only promote them to their level of incompetence and then wait for them to retire.

Posted by: Kerry at August 6, 2004 11:16 AM

There's a guy that goes to my church who is just like that. I was born in 1980 big guy. I can't relate, nor do I care.

PCTwaT...{snickers behind computer monitor}

Posted by: myllissa at August 6, 2004 11:22 AM

I wonder what would have happened if someone had dropped a big book on the floor behind him? Or is that just way too mean? Flashbacks from 'Nam and all..

Posted by: Sue at August 6, 2004 11:46 AM

LOL. I'm just loving that title as it perfectly describes this particular morning for me!

We actually have a guy who worked here who falls into the same category as your PTCwaT. One day he revealed to me that he has this collection of soda cans that entirely fills one bedroom and I should come over and see it. I told him that I thought it was great that he had a hobby collecting different types of soda cans. Then he told me that they weren't different, they were all Coke cans as he found the design on the can very soothing to look at. LOL. When he was fired, we had to hire security when we found out he had parked a car on his ex-bosses front lawn and set it on fire. And they say metal plates in one's head hinders creativity!

Have a great day Mr. Cactus! Your stories always make me smile :D

Posted by: groovebunny at August 6, 2004 12:00 PM

"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules." - Walter Sobchak.

Also? I was totally reading it as PCTwat the whole time too. hee hee

Posted by: Granola Spice at August 6, 2004 12:29 PM

Oh buddy, I could tell you stories...if the government would let me. But they WON'T!

Posted by: Casey at August 6, 2004 01:44 PM

I too am guilty of reading it PCTwat the entire time.

I should probably get back to my water ballet routine here in the gutter now. Practice makes perfect you know!

Thanks for the chuckle, boy did I need it.

Posted by: Scarlett Cyn at August 6, 2004 01:56 PM

That PTCwaT only needs a few letters changing to become TWaT. Which really sounds more appropriate.

Posted by: pie at August 6, 2004 03:09 PM

Erm ... fun like Nam? Seriously, you let us know when you see him on the six o'clock news. Notice I said "when," not "if."

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 6, 2004 07:53 PM

In the words of Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets to the woman who takes care of his neighbor,

Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City "Sailor wanna hump-hump" bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here.

Don't know why that quote popped into my head or why I felt I had to share my strange random thoughts with you...maybe I thought if you said that to the new client, he may leave you alone! Shrug

Posted by: Gypsy at August 6, 2004 08:19 PM