Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A day in the office

It’s quieter than usual in the office. Everyone’s here. Sue’s been making calls yelling at crew leaders about their delinquent receipts, Brian and Erin are solid as the new NCCC admins. And Kate’s here of course.

It’s just that she can’t speak.

But that’s not stopping her.

White board in hand she directs me, Erin, Sue, Brian, and Dan, scribbling notes as we guess the question before it’s written, or interpret facial expressions. It’s Dan though, who is really the key component in Kate’s communication. He answers her cell phone “Hi, Mom!,” flirts with crew leaders when they call the office number, and curses for her on cue, when something inevitably goes wrong. Another highlight occurred at the dinner meeting, when Dan spoke for Kate in her barrage of announcements, including the spring break classic “Ladies! No tampons in the toilets! I’m a woman, I get it!” as he hid behind a table.

Having Kate mute simply makes the amount of work she does for this organization more obvious. She has claimed the Board of Work, a 4x6 white board out of commission during spring break, to keep a huge to-do list. The top of it reads “Kate’s War Board – AKA I Will Win,” it lists the number of emails to answer (157), work to complete for night classes, and a variety of other reminders, including to sleep. As the true Queen of Spring, she is not letting a little laryngitis get in the way of managing over 100 spring breakers.

So, as Brian and Erin practice their telepathy, people with perfectly good voices find themselves feeling the need to whisper their responses, and everyone feels a little closer to Kate as they complete her sentences… the office goes on.

Elizabeth (the) Falcon

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